Middle Stone Age Shell Beads from South Africa

  title={Middle Stone Age Shell Beads from South Africa},
  author={Christopher S. Henshilwood and Francesco d’Errico and Marian Vanhaeren and Karen L. van Niekerk and Zenobia Jacobs},
  pages={404 - 404}
There are two competing models for the emergence of modern human behavior: first, a late emergence in Africa or Eurasia at ∼50 to 40 thousand years ago (ka), and second, a gradual transition in Africa between 250 to 50 ka ([ 1 ][1]). In both models, personal ornaments and art are unquestioned 

Catalysts for Stone Age innovations

It is proposed that the formation of social networks across southern Africa during periods of population expansion, and the disintegration of these networks during times of population contraction, can explain the abrupt appearance and disappearance of the SB and HP, as well as the hiatus between them.

Ages for the Middle Stone Age of Southern Africa: Implications for Human Behavior and Dispersal

Age ages for nine sites from varied climatic and ecological zones across southern Africa show that both industries were short-lived (5000 years or less), separated by about 7000 years, and coeval with genetic estimates of population expansion and exit times.

Those marvellous millennia: the Middle Stone Age of Southern Africa

  • L. Wadley
  • Environmental Science, Geography
  • 2015
Africa's Middle Stone Age (MSA) may have lasted almost half a million years, but its earliest expression is not yet well understood. The MSA is best known for innovations that appear in the

Coastal Diet, Encephalization, and Innovative Behaviors in the Late Middle Stone Age of Southern Africa

Some 35 years ago, Desmond Clark (1975) predicted that Africa was in the process of moving from peripheral to paramount in the narrative of human evolution. Nowhere has this been more dramatically

82,000-year-old shell beads from North Africa and implications for the origins of modern human behavior

Examples of perforated Nassarius gibbosulus shell beads from Grotte des Pigeons (Taforalt, Morocco), North Africa are reported on, implying an early distribution of bead-making in Africa and southwest Asia at least 40 millennia before the appearance of similar cultural manifestations in Europe.

Mollusk and tortoise size as proxies for stone age population density in South Africa: Implications for the evolution of human cultural capacity

Research on the evolution of fully modern human cognitive capacities and cultural behaviors has flourished in recent years. Here, we focus on distinguishing between the two best-described models. The


Papers in this volume in honour of Lyn Wadley are testimonies of the current status of Middle Stone Age research in South Africa. They also position the Middle Stone Age within broader research

Extending the chronology for Blombos Cave, South Africa: Further evidence for the origins of modern human behaviour

Behavioural modernity, however defined, is considered to be the key distinctive feature separating Homo sapiens from earlier hominid lineages. While the fossil and genetic records imply that modern

A shark-tooth ornament from Pleistocene Sahul

The tooth of a tiger shark, perforated to make a pendant, was lost in New Ireland, New Guinea between 39500 and 28000 years ago. The author argues that this has to be the work of anatomically modern



Emergence of Modern Human Behavior: Middle Stone Age Engravings from South Africa

Two abstract representations engraved on pieces of red ochre recovered from the Middle Stone Age layers at Blombos Cave in South Africa support the emergence of modern human behavior in Africa at least 35,000 years before the start of the Upper Paleolithic.

Chronology of the Later Stone Age and Food Production in East Africa

Abstract Evidence from several archaeological sites in sub-Saharan Africa suggests that the transition to modern human technology, marked by the change from the Middle to the Later Stone Age (LSA),

The invisible frontier. A multiple species model for the origin of behavioral modernity

A variant of this model sees behavioral modernity resulting from a rapid biological change, a brain mutation producing no apparent change in skull anatomy, which occurred in Europe or, more probably, in Africa at ca.

Ornaments of the earliest Upper Paleolithic: New insights from the Levant

The new data show that the initial appearance of Upper Paleolithic ornament technologies was essentially simultaneous on three continents, and the early appearance and proliferation of ornament technologies appears to have been contingent on variable demographic or social conditions.

Blombos Cave, Southern Cape, South Africa : Preliminary report on the 1992-1999 excavations of the Middle Stone Age levels

The Later- and Middle Stone Age levels at Blombos Cave (BBC) were excavated over four field seasons between 1992 and 1999. Here we report on the results from the Middle Stone Age (MSA) levels. The